UK gov’t slammed for alleged lockdown-breaching Christmas get together

Video leaked to British media seems to indicate prime minister’s group joking about holding celebrations final yr.

A leaked video that reveals workers members in British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s workplace joking about holding a lockdown-breaching Christmas get together is including gas to allegations that authorities officers flouted coronavirus rules they imposed on everybody else.

For days, the prime minister’s workplace has been attempting to rebut stories that Johnson’s workers held a December 2020 workplace get together – full with wine, meals, video games and festive reward trade – when pandemic rules banned most social gatherings.

According to a number of British media retailers, the get together happened on December 18, when restrictions in London prohibited indoor gatherings, and a day earlier than Johnson tightened the rules even additional, ruling out household Christmases for tens of millions of individuals.

Opposition Labour Party chief Keir Starmer mentioned the prime minister ought to “come clean and apologise.”

“People across the country followed the rules even when that meant being separated from their families, locked down and – tragically for many – unable to say goodbye to their loved ones,” Starmer mentioned. “They had a right to expect that the government was doing the same. To lie and to laugh about those lies is shameful.”

In response to the footage, aired late Tuesday by broadcaster ITV, the prime minister’s workplace mentioned: “There was no Christmas party. COVID rules have been followed at all times.”

The video, recorded on December 22, 2020, reveals then-Press Secretary Allegra Stratton showing to joke about a bootleg get together on the prime minister‘s Downing Street workplace.

The recording seems to be a mock press convention, held as a rehearsal for televised every day authorities media briefings.

Another aide, enjoying a journalist, says: “I’ve just seen reports on Twitter that there was a Downing Street Christmas party on Friday night, do you recognise those reports?”

As laughter is heard, Stratton, the press secretary, says: “I went home” and asks colleagues: “What’s the answer?” Another voice may be heard saying: “It wasn’t a party, it was cheese and wine”.

“Is cheese and wine all right? It was a business meeting,” Stratton says, laughing.

Thousands of individuals in Britain have been fined since early 2020 for breaking restrictions by holding unlawful gatherings.

London’s Metropolitan Police power mentioned officers have been reviewing the leaked video in relation to “alleged breaches” of coronavirus rules.

The Christmas get together allegations are the most recent in a string of accusations of rule-breaking and ethics violations by Johnson’s Conservative authorities.

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